During the Valentine’s Day weekend, while lovers were dining out or exchanging gifts, zombies and humans were fighting a fierce battle for survival…at least they will be until the end of the mini-game on Sunday, Feb. 16. Humans versus Zombies (HvZ) is a popular tag-based survival game popular on college campuses throughout the United States.
People sign up to be humans, while one or two people are assigned the role of Original Zombie (OZ). The OZs tag people, turning them into zombies. As the game progresses, zombies try to “eat” as many humans as possible, and the humans fight back with weapons that range from socks stuffed with more socks, to nerf guns. It gets very involved and as you walk through the campus, you can see zombies (wearing bandanas around their heads) waiting behind bushes or pillars and their human counterparts (wearing bandanas on their arms) alert and ready to send a sock flying to stun the zombie for just long enough to flee.
HvZ is a club on campus that is headed by sophomore Hannah Dickmeyer, sophomore Dalton Haber, sophomore Orion Hartmann, junior Erik Fisher and senior Katie Boyle. Usually games last a week, so the special three-day mini-game (from Friday, Feb. 14, to Sunday, Feb. 16) was especially packed with missions to allow players to get the most out of the experience. The theme was medieval in nature and the humans had to protect their emperor as well as accomplish objectives. If the human emperor died, the zombies would get a queen who could make the zombies active again and, therefore, make it a lot harder for the humans to win. Sophomore and executive board member of HvZ Orion Hartmann said, “The best part of the game is that you’re always playing. Everyone starts out as a human and when you die you just switch teams and have different objectives. It’s an entirely different playing style and it’s fabulous.”
Since the mini-game has a medieval flare, there are lords and relics in addition to the human and zombie emperors. One of the missions that took place on Saturday, Feb. 15 was an excavation to find holy relics, in the form of pool noodles – if the excavator was tagged, the relic would go to the zombies and they would be able to use the relic against the humans. The excavator was surrounded by humans going to and from the excavation site, as well as while they were there. While at the site, the excavator had to “dig up” the relic, staying there for a certain amount of time before taking them back to where all the humans would meet again. The relics were then purified in another mission that day, allowing the humans to use them as weapons against the zombies. Sophomore Acer Lewis thought that “it was awesome, and it is somehow fun to be terrified all the time.”
Keep an eye out for the full-game coming up either in late March or early April, and be sure to sign up for an exciting, post-apocalyptic tag game where you can get exercise, a history lesson, and the camaraderie of being a surviving human or a still-active zombie.